Loren Pope (Pope-Leighey) House (1939), Mount Vernon, Virginia
The Loren Pope (Pope-Leighey) House (1939) was originally built in Falls Church, Virginia and relocated to Woodlawn Plantation in Mount Vernon, Virginia (1964). The house is open to the public.
Construction of the Pope-Leighey House resulted from a letter written to Frank Lloyd Wright by a $50-a-week copy editor for the The Washington Star after reading Wright’s autobiography.
“Dear Frank Lloyd Wright: There are certain things a man wants during life, and, of life. Material things and things of the spirit. The writer has one fervent wish that includes both. It is for a house created by you.”
“Dear Loren Pope: of course I’m ready to give you a house…”
Built in 1939 at a cost of $7,000 (including the land and built-in furniture), the house is an example of the Usonian Houses that Wright designed for people of moderate means. It is a modest house of 1,200 square feet that was revolutionary for its time with flat roof, horizontal lines emphasized by board-and-batten wall surfaces inside and out, studless sandwich walls, and heating pipes beneath the concrete floors. The house was sold to Mrs. Leighey in 1946.
In order to save the house which stood in the path of a proposed highway construction project, Mrs. Leighey persuaded the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1964 to move the house to a safe site and gave the Trust the entire $31,500 condemnation award to help pay for the relocation. Mrs. Leighey continued to reside in the house until her death.
Location: on the grounds of Woodlawn Plantation at intersection of U.S. Route 1 & VA Route 235 S. in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
Open to the public. Admission fee.
William Allin Storrer, The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (1995), #268.
Stephen M. Reiss, “The Pope-Leighey House, An Interview with Loren Pope,” Blueprints, Summer 2006, Volume XXIV, No. 3, National Building Museum.